Alpert Jewish Family And Childrens Service

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Help a Senior! Help Yourself?

Emily J. Minor
Communications Department
August 3, 2017

Help a Senior! Help Yourself!

AJFCS is looking for individuals to participate in its AmeriCorps program, a one-on-one partnership arrangement that assists elderly clients with everyday tasks, and can also help to reduce their loneliness, depression and isolation.

And we think you’d love being involved - or know someone who would.

Under the auspices of the national AmeriCorps program that promotes civic engagement, the AJFCS uses the grant money to train participants of all faiths to work with its senior clients, providing transportation, socialization and on-going companionship.

Each AmeriCorps program member receives a monthly stipend of $211, plus paid mileage. This is AJFCS’s 15th year participating in the program, of which there are only 16 nationwide.

Program Director Nancy Frent said AmeriCorps companions can be any age, although the “seniors helping seniors” arrangement seems to work best.

“We do find that retirees are a really good fit for this program,” Frent said. “They have a lot of shared life experiences with the clients. But, bottom line, it’s our goal to make a good match for the client.”

After going through training, the AmeriCorps companions set up a schedule with their clients to meet their needs. The time together can be spent doing whatever’s needed, everything from assisting with errands and appointments to calling the grandchildren on Skype to playing cards and scrabble. Frent said they take great care with the matching so the companion and client find the experience rewarding and meaningful.

Each AmeriCorps companion must commit to providing 450 hours of service with their clients over a 12-month period.

The AmeriCorps Program is funded though the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that helps millions of Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service, and is administered by the University of Maryland.

The starting date for the next AmeriCorps training session is Oct. 2, which will be here before you know it. Call Nancy Frent at 561-238-0235 to get involved in this great program.